Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:
The Bloodlines Series is a spin-off of the Vampire Academy
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #10; Favourite Author
This is a spin off of the Vampire Academy Series.
Author: Richelle Mead
# of Books: 6 (Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, Indigo Spell, The Fiery Heart, Silver Shadows, The Ruby Circle)
Genre: Young Adult, Magic, Vampires, Action, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single; Alternating (Fiery Heart onwards)
After reading the Vampire Academy (VA) Series, I wasn’t sure how I felt about a spin-off. I loved Adrian in the VA books so I was excited for him to be in the new series; but it was Sydney I wasn’t sure about. It’s not really Sydney’s fault I didn’t love her in the VA books. Her character needed to be who she was in order to progress the story. I warmed up to her by the end of the VA series but she was by no means my top choice for a spin-off character.
Well, it’s a good thing I am not the author of these books! Because Sydney is a great character and I have grown to love her in this new series.
Bloodlines takes fan-favourite characters and gives them the stories we all wanted them to have. From Jill to Eddie to Adrian, all these characters make an appearance in the books. Even Rose and crew appear here and there. Despite the fact that the story is told from Sydney’s POV, we still know what is going on with every other character–just like it was in the VA series.
The first book, Bloodlines, is a slow start to the series but is needed. It really establishes the characters and let’s you into Sydney’s life and thought process–seeing as she was only told through Rose’s perspective in the VA series. Book 2, The Golden Lily is where things start to fall into place and the “overarching” (by this I mean it is a plot that spans multiple books) begins to unwind. It also helps that there is a HUGE cliff-hanger that has you begging for the next one. Book 3, The Indigo Spell does not disappoint and I am counting down the days until book 4, The Fiery Heart is released.
It should be noted that this series doesn’t have much physical action as VA series. It’s there, but Sydney uses other methods, like chemicals and magic, to fight her foes. I tend to not like magic series that have witches so I was worried when the series started to focus more on magic (this series focuses more on the Alchemists than the vampires). I should know by now that Richelle Mead does not disappoint and I really like where this series is going with the spells aspect of it.
UPDATED (Dec 7/13): I was lucky enough to get my hands on The Fiery Heart shortly after it was published. I finished it in a day, that’s how much I loved it! While the book is mostly character development, I never found it to be dull. I think it helped that Adrian gets his own POV so for the first time we really get to see his thought process–and with him being my favourite character in the entire series, I was excited and happy to finally get more insight about him. This book has a great buildup into the next two books of the series and I can’t wait! July 2014 can’t get here soon enough!
UPDATED (August 10/14): When my copy of Silver Shadows finally came in from the library, I went ASAP to grab it and then spent the rest of the weekend reading it. I would have finished in a day but life got in the way :P. Overall, Silver Shadows is a bridging novel that is setting up the plot for the final book (The Ruby Circle) in the series. However, this doesn’t mean that it is dull in anyway. Despite a more singular plotline than the previous novels, I found the book moved at a very quick pace and kept my interest throughout. Fans will not be disappointed–the only disappointment is the waiting 6 months until the conclusion in The Ruby Circle.
UPDATED (March 15/15): It’s always really hard to say goodbye to your favourite characters–and The Ruby Circle was a tough one to read knowing it is the last of the Vampire Academy Universe. I think I was 50 pages from the end when I started to cry knowing I only had a few more pages left. I’ve been following these characters for the last 6 years so expectations were high going into this book and I wasn’t disappointed! I thought The Ruby Circle started slowly but once I was about a third of the way through it picked up immensely and I didn’t put it down. There were unexpected twists, a fast plotline (once it got started) and so many great character appearances, fans of both series will be very, very happy with The Ruby Circle. It’s hard to say goodbye but it makes things 20x easier when you are happy with the ending. I definitely plan on revisiting all of these books in the future.
To fans of VA: Read this! If you loved Adrian and Sydney (or even Eddie and Jill), you will love this series! It has everything VA had but does it in it’s own unique way. To new fans: even if you didn’t read VA (which I suggest you do!) you could probably get away with diving right into this series. A must read for fans of paranormal YA.
Similar Reads: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy Series #1)
Synopsis for Bloodlines (from Goodreads):
Blood doesn’t lie…
Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…